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Road Runners

by Unknown

Published ca. 1952


Outlaw hotrodders become law-abiding gearheads after a community organizes supervised racing clubs and timing associations.


Run time 11:46
Producer Unknown
Sponsor Unknown
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

Shotlist

Ken Smith notes: "Mel" is a hot-rodder who quickly conforms when he discovers the Santa Ana drag strip and the Lake El Mirage timing trials. These provide a "safe and constructive outlet," the narrator tells us, and help mitigate the "juvenile nuisance problem." "Trophies now instead of traffic tickets! He'll never speed on the highway again!" Real life wasn't really this simple....
Good shots of homemade hot rods and seat belts.

hot rod drag driver safety ticket police safety belt race racing california teenagers juvenile delinquency HOT RODS Automobiles Cars Auto racing
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Reviews

Reviewer: Victor Von Psychotron - - May 6, 2013
Subject: A fun look back
I wasn't a teenager at this time period, but it's still a neat look back into early 50's hot rod culture and racing clubs. It's worth it for the footage of the custom coups alone.
Reviewer: ERD. - - December 17, 2006
Subject: Good for 1952
This was a good film for 1952. However, not all teenagers interested in cars could afford such a hobby even in that era.
Reviewer: pdubu - - December 17, 2006
Subject: The old days of hot rodding brought to life
Not that I'm from that era, but the film demonstrates the reasons and beginnings of hot rodding venues such as drag strips and land speed venues. I was surprised to see film of speed trials at El Mirage. Way cool for a gearhead that missed out on the beginning of the sport.

There are a few minor life lessons as well: realizing two heads are better than one, comraderie will take you farther than lone wolfing it, and why spend money on a girlfriend when you can work on your car (just joking).
Reviewer: Marysz - - July 2, 2004
Subject: Racing Down the Road to Nowhere
Teenager Mel burns rubber on city streets with his girlfriend Thera at his side. This film shows us an alternative for boys like Mel: drag racingÃÂa way for adolescent boys to blow off steam and stay out of trouble. Drag racing courses were commonplace on the outskirts of American towns in the fifties. It was a way to get teenagers off the streets and for landowners to get some money from unused acreage.

By the end of the film, MelÃÂs won a trophy and Thera is nowhere to be found. And no wonder. MelÃÂs traded in his snappy convertible for a souped-up heap and is spending all his time tinkering with his car and hanging around with his new friend Dave. WhatÃÂs in it for Thera? Nothing. LetÃÂs hope she went out and bought her own convertible. Maybe that traffic cop we saw in the beginning of the film will pull her over. HeÃÂs a better prospect for her than Mel.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - May 22, 2004
Subject: 2 Fast 2 Flakey
Way too proposterously innocous film about Drag racing. Through the often patronizing narration, we learn of a lad who learns other ways to get his kicks through speeding, by joining the drag racing club! This has almost the exact same plot as another (better) film on the site, A Cool Hot Rod. It's sort of interesting how he's got a girlfriend at the beginning of this film, yet when the final race comes along, the girl is nowhere to be seen. Well then! Cheaply made (love the "car in motion" shots), badly narrated ("These boys today will be men tommorow!" uh huh) this is as if Coronet made a Sid Davis film.
Reviewer: Reijer Verwer - - November 30, 2003
Subject: Street racing comes full-circle.
Interesting stuff for petrolheads and social scientists alike! This short film shows how 1950's 'outlaw hot-rodders' were regulated into civil society. Ironically, the exact same measures are now being taken in Europe with regards to the 'illegal street-races'. By the way, this film has an all-american happy end.
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